Hungary Caves to EU 'Blackmail,' Drops Opposition to $54B Ukraine Aid

Chris Menahan
Feb. 01, 2024

Hungary caved on Wednesday and allowed $54 billion in EU funds to go to Ukraine after Brussels issued terroristic threats to "sabotage" Hungary's economy and destroy their currency if they block the aid.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Tuesday that he would not give into Brussels' "blackmail" only to cave into the blackmail one day later.

Frankly, his caving is understandable considering the severity of the EU's threats.

Orban tried to spin it as a win and to be fair, it sounds like he extracted some modest concessions.

From NPR, "European Union approves $54 billion aid for Ukraine as Hungary drops opposition":
The European Union has reached a deal to include 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in funding for Ukraine in its budget for the next three years. The agreement came surprisingly quickly after Hungary, long opposed, reversed its stance.

[...] European Parliament President Roberta Metsola hailed the agreement in a press conference just hours after it was reached. She said the unanimous approval by the EU's 27 member nations meant keeping the funding within the EU budget, which gives it the added stamp of approval of the European parliament.

"Ukraine is our priority and this agreement will give the credibility, legitimacy and the predictability that is expected from us," she said. "Because Ukraine's security is Europe's security."

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán scuttled a similar EU budget summit in December after vetoing the funding for Ukraine.
"Asked what Orban was offered in exchange for lifting his veto, French President Emmanuel Macron said Hungary 'didn't receive a gift. It simply got the guarantee that the approach toward it will not be discriminatory,' " the AP reported.

[Header image by Alan Santos/PR/Palácio do Planalto, CC BY 2.0 DEED.]

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